Sunday, January 26, 2014

Rare Treats: Back to Hoagy's Alley: The Making of Top Cat

Top Cat was Hanna-Barbera's contemporary follow-up to The Flintstones, debuting in 1961. The following video uploaded by Cartoon Lagoon, comes from the series' DVD release, and is narrated/hosted by Leo DeLyon (Spook/Brain). No mention is made of the fact that the show was derived from and inspired by You'll Never Get Rich, aka Sgt. Bilko, aka The Phil Silvers Show. Maurice Gosfield (Benny) also was one of Bilko's sidekicks. I think the story on the Bilko/Top Cat connection was another part of the DVD's special features section. If you haven't already invested in the DVD, whaddya waitin' for?

Rating: A.


magicdog said...

DeLyon is right that Top Cat was very much a character centric show. It had more heart than a lot of toons would have even in the ensuing years. The most touching one I remember was when TC and the gang find a baby that had been abandoned by its mother. Seeing TC ultimately willing to rise to he occasion and be willing to raise the kid as part of the gang was actually quite sweet!

I don't know when DeLyon did the interview, but it makes me wonder why the other surviving VAs couldn't participate. When he broke into the Brain voice, I couldn't help but smile from ear to ear.

I had read that part of the reason TC didn't go for another season, was due to the sudden passing of Maurice Gosfield. He'd suffered a heart attack and was hospitalized. Arnold Stang, a good friend of his, went to see him and give him the good news that the show was going to be picked up and they were looking forward to working together. Gosfield died just hours later. No one wanted to go on without him doing the voice of Benny.

Funny though that TC is HUGE in Latin America. He's known in Spanish as "El Gato" and is the reason for various non HB productions. There was a feature length CGI film version not too long ago that was dubbed into English.

hobbyfan said...

Eventually, they did find someone to take over as Benny for later works, such as TC & The Beverly Hills Cats.

I have heard of the Latin American version. I wonder how long they've been making their own TC films with or without the consent of H-B/WB.